Researching Your Book Can Be Fun
My friend Kevin on our ziplining adventure in Boulder City, NV
Here are just a few places I've visited to research my latest book.
Alamo, NV I’ve been to the Alamo in San Antonio, TX but this is a very different Alamo. The town of Alamo is in southern Lincoln County, just ninety miles north of Las Vegas. It is close to the Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge. The Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge has over 5,000 acres of open wetlands and lush green grasslands. In the summertime you’ll see the green, however I think it’s still beautiful in winter, just don’t expect to see much green; it’s more like our “beautiful, brown Nevada” then. An important stop on the Great Pacific Migratory Route, thousands of migratory birds and waterfowl fly through this area every year. Dozens of bird species can be found in this valley, and it is one of over five-hundred managed areas in the National Wildlife Refuge system. The lake is beautiful any time of year and you can take the gravel road to get a closer look or to spend the night in one of the lovely, quiet camp sites.
Blue Diamond, NV is an easy drive from the southwest area of Las Vegas. Plan to visit nearby Spring Mountain Ranch where you can enjoy a picnic, a hike to peaceful Lake Harriet, and visit the home that at different times in its history belonged to Howard Hughes and to Vera Krupp. Spring Mountain Ranch is also the home to the Super Summer Theatre. Check out the schedule on their Event Calendar. You’ll most likely still be able spot wild burros in the area. Do not feed them, follow the warning signs about that! I especially love the sign leading onto Blue Diamond: Population: Low; Elevation: High; Burros??
Boulder City, NV is most noted for its proximity to Hoover Dam and known as “the city that the dam built,” it is a charming small town. Next to the Boulder Dam Lodge, you can catch a helicopter for an aerial tour of the dam. If, like Sheldon Cooper, you have an affinity for trains, you can take a short ride on the Southern Nevada Railroad train in an open-air car or, when it’s hot, an air-conditioned coach. And now you can ride the Rail Bikes, a new addition to the railroad fun. Don’t forget to visit Hemenway Park, where the bighorn sheep come to graze. Enjoy a picnic in one of the pavilions and you can graze right next to the sheep if they’re there that day. If you’re adventurous, you can sky dive at the Boulder City Airport, and take the zipline through Bootleg Canyon. On the drive up to the top of the mountain, you’ll see an actual “still” in a cave in the rock, leftover from the days of Prohibition when the casino owners from downtown Las Vegas, came to Bootleg Canyon to get their booze.
China Ranch, CA: This is an interesting place with a rich history. The legend is that Chinese workers in the Borax mines were promised a plot of land in exchange for their labors. When their time was up, they were given land in the middle of “nowhere” in the harsh desert. However, they were able to grow date palms and create a nice oasis in the desert, known as China Ranch Date Farm. Approximately half of the trees are male and produce only pollen. The females bear fruit in the fall, yielding from 100 to 300 pounds of dates in a season. When you visit, you will likely see the colorful covers protecting the dates from birds. There is also an easy hiking trail where you’ll see some relics from the history of the place. And, of course, you must sample the famous date milk shakes.
More adventures to come in future blogs. And the book will be on Amazon very soon. It has hundreds of pictures. Great coffee table book. Quick, call Kramer! Watch for my blog announcing when the book available.